TRANSPACIFIC FINED OVER FATAL ACCIDENT

Written on the 28 May 2015

TRANSPACIFIC FINED OVER FATAL ACCIDENT

TRANSPACIFIC Industries Group (ASX:TPI) has been fined $363,000 after a fatal accident in Perth in 2011.

A Transpacific truck collided with a van that had stopped to turn right off West Swan Road in Caversham. The truck then drifted into an oncoming car and killed the 71 year old driver.

The waste management company was penalised for breaching federal work health and safety laws, following proceedings brought by regulator Comcare.

Handing down the ruling at Perth's Federal Court of Australia, Justice Michael Barker found that Transpacific failed to complete adequate brake maintenance.

Justice Barker says the company breached the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 four times, putting the safety of employees and road users at risk.

Comcare took action after an investigation into the truck identified systematic failures in Transpacific's vehicle maintenance practices.

Comcare CEO Jennifer Taylor says the case highlighted the importance of safety systems for employers, particularly when heavy vehicles are involved.

"This case showed ongoing, systematic failures in safety practices," Taylor says.

"It is also a reminder that in such cases, Comcare will not just consider the final result.

"We will examine every opportunity a company has had to fix these issues, and we will take appropriate enforcement action."

The penalty is the largest against an employer as a result of a single court proceeding by Comcare.

It is also the first time multiple breaches of Commonwealth work health and safety laws have been found against an employer in regard to an ongoing risk to health and safety.


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